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Land Grab Cheats North Dakota Tribes Out of $1 Billion, Suits Allege

Pro Publica -- Native Americans on an oil-rich North Dakota reservation have been cheated out of more than $1 billion by schemes to buy drilling rights for lowball prices, a flurry of recent lawsuits assert. And, the suits claim, the federal government facilitated the alleged swindle by failing in its legal obligation to ensure the tribes got a fair deal.

This is a story as old as America itself, given a new twist by fracking and the boom that technology has sparked in North Dakota oil country. Since the late 1800s, the U.S. government has appropriated much of the original tribal lands associated with the Fort Berthold reservation in North Dakota for railroads and white homesteaders. A devastating blow was delivered when the Army Corps of Engineers dammed the Missouri River in 1953, flooding more tha


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Submitted Feb 24, 2013 By: aservant
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LetemEatCake
Champion Author Oklahoma City

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 4:40:01 PM


Sounds like deja vu for the BIA. The very same thing happened in Northern OK.with the Osage tribe about 40 years ago with numerous companies including the Koch brothers..

The article says, "Reservation lands are still held in trust by the U.S. government. As a trustee, the Department of the Interior has responsibility for overseeing the development of oil and gas on tribal lands, and for ensuring that any leases or sales of that land are made in "the best interest" of the Native Americans. When it comes to leases to drill for oil — even those negotiated directly between the tribal council and the oil industry — the Bureau of Indian Affairs is required to make sure the leases meet this standard."

So this is not a straight up purchase between the reservation tribes and Oil companies. Uncle Sam and the BIA are trustees. In the case of the Osage, they won and won big in court...although the attorneys got theirs.

These fraudulent transactions are not how an American should treat the first people. Unlike what some posters indicated, this is NOT good business when you leave victims in the wake.

[Edited by: LetemEatCake at 2/24/2013 6:41:14 PM EST]
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ktbaeohana
Champion Author Las Vegas

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 2:51:45 PM

not surprise. watch and see.
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PDQBlues
Champion Author San Diego

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 1:28:53 PM


Another case of unscrupulous corporate executives screwing over Native Americans. Hopefully justice will be served.
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rjojo40AL
Champion Author Nevada

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 9:43:45 AM

bunch of dumb asses white man drills the oil and Native Americans get money in court...LOL
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drpepperTX
Champion Author Texas

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 8:31:00 AM

Allegedly.
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MidNJ
Champion Author New Jersey

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 6:55:33 AM

Humblepie, it is about making money and profits for the oil companies, not giving fair value to the original owners, right?
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CityCouponer
Champion Author New Orleans

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 5:56:36 AM

Manifest Destiny - the tradition continues.

WZ, I agree.
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mandoid
Champion Author Alabama

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 5:34:44 AM

i agree with you humblepie
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Radar1992
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 5:25:35 AM

Always beware when someone comes to your home offering you a deal out of no where...

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humblepie
Champion Author Toledo

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 4:15:49 AM

if they sold the rights without coesion whats the gripe now ?
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MrLefty0706
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 12:23:29 AM

Looks like corruption is running out of control in North Dakota.
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OHMS
Champion Author Orange County

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 12:13:38 AM

Injuns doan need no stinking suits
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Vette1967
Champion Author Albany

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:44:57 PM

Greed never ends.
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wz
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:27:35 PM

Shrewd businessmen have been pulling the same game since the beginning of money (and probably before). Their victims of choice are the uneducated masses. Our public school system is supposed to provide everyone a usable education. If the tribes (and inner-city districts) choose to not teach basic economics, their graduates will continue to fall prey to such schemes.
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NOTSOGRN
Champion Author Michigan

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:26:58 PM

.
.
Buy low...sell high...that's the American way...
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TripleHs
Champion Author Austin

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:22:00 PM

people are getting greedy with more and more money on the table
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arinkrat17
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:20:45 PM

Ok
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prius22
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:18:41 PM

It's the American way.
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Mowerman08
Champion Author Milwaukee

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:18:04 PM

very likely
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kd5kpd
Champion Author Texas

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:16:59 PM

Nothing unusual, big government at work again.
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djp071158
Champion Author Detroit

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:16:12 PM

I for one, am in favor of the Indians.
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TXGasPriceSpy
Champion Author Fort Worth

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:15:41 PM

I think, I think I'm going to throw up!!!
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mcbrownie220
Sophomore Author Toledo

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:13:36 PM

hmmm
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mfeldstein
Champion Author Ottawa

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:12:22 PM

I believe it.
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spmaudio
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:09:51 PM

@ krobp46: Yuh. I thought our government would have stopped screwing the Indians by now!
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JaegerWMeister
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:09:37 PM

I hear the ring of legal fees
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DirtDauber
Champion Author San Antonio

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:09:29 PM

They don't have to sell.
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krobp46
Champion Author Milwaukee

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:07:53 PM

Way to go Washington, screw the Indians again
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CdnLynx
Champion Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:07:45 PM

Circle those wagons lads; we maybe experiencing another little big horn!
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Thomtec
Champion Author Nashville

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:07:34 PM

Lawyers
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RENEGADEGAS
Champion Author Missouri

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:06:17 PM

I would think the Native Americans have good attorneys that can handle this situation. If they are relying on this regime to protect them, they may as well hang it up.
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Ron77095
Champion Author Houston

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:05:10 PM

Really?
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abacus44
Champion Author Toms River

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:04:48 PM

They could have held out for higher prices.
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nurdco
Champion Author Colorado Springs

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:02:01 PM

Just like NATIVE Hawaiians
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J Eric
Champion Author Los Angeles

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 11:00:46 PM

Cheating Indians? Oh, nooooo, we would never do that. (They got to open a casino near the oilfields, though.)
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10k
Champion Author North Carolina

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 10:58:59 PM

if the feds were involved, i'm not surprised..too bad there are not enough oldtime indian warriors left that could swarm, and take over washington..
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MN1
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 10:56:48 PM

SOP
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yonasb
Champion Author Houston

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 10:56:16 PM

a deal is a deal
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DrGasPain
All-Star Author Dallas

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 10:55:25 PM

modern day cowboys and indians !
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Rageagainsttm
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 10:54:52 PM

Ain't that America.
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Dsin44
Champion Author Abbotsford

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 10:53:54 PM

tipical
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probedude2
Champion Author Akron

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 10:53:32 PM

Those reservations are dirt poor, what did you expect them to do?
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Bobski13
Veteran Author Detroit

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 10:53:29 PM

Only in America!!
I think the companies that committed this should be fined, jailed and made to pay the Native Americans the $1 Billion + interest + penalties.
The law is the law and it should apply equally!!! However, it will never happen in America...the government takes and never gives back.
'Nuff said!
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grt197
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 10:51:37 PM

OK
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unicornpmb
Champion Author Buffalo

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 10:51:36 PM

It will never end.
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melvindale
Champion Author Michigan

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 10:51:02 PM

North American Natives being cheated out of their rights and property once again.
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grt197
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 10:50:46 PM

OK
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silvereb
Champion Author South Carolina

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 10:50:29 PM

This is just wrong.
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Double_Golden
Champion Author San Francisco

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 10:49:02 PM

that's nothing new, it happen since 1776...
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moregas1966
Champion Author Columbus

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 10:47:31 PM

typical for the usa
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